London 2012 Summer Olympics Guide
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B-2 Signal Tribune
July 20, 2012
July 20, 2012
BK Carwash owners fondly remember how they participated in the 1984 Summer Olympics Nick Diamantides Staff Writer
In the summer of 1984, the Olympic Games were conducted in Southern California, with Los Angeles as the main hub. Long Beach had the distinct honor of hosting the Olympic sailing competition. Sheldon and Shell Grossman, owners of the Bixby Knolls Car Wash, will never forget that summer because they were also given a distinct honor– they got to serve as hosts on boats carrying people who were allowed to get close to the sailboats participating in the games. “In 1984, the organizers of the races were looking for people who had boats that could assist on the sidelines of the race,” Sheldon explained. He added that a representative of the Olympic Committee contacted the Huntington Harbor Yacht Club, to which the Grossmans belonged. “We were thrilled to have the chance to participate in the Olympics, so we volunteered to take a week off from the carwash and go to Long Beach in my 24-foot powerboat,” he said. “They assigned us to be a press boat, which meant reporters and photographers would board our boat, and we would follow the various races.” He added that the race organizers gave him and Shell brightly colored uniforms and schedules for picking up and dropping off reporters and photographers. “We loved our uniforms,” Shell interjected with a laugh. “They kind of made us look like orange carrots.” “But then, they decided that they had more boats than they needed, and they said they didn’t need both of us to be on the boat with the media people,” Sheldon said. “So Shell made arrangements to be on one of the protocol boats.” “I very much wanted to be involved in the Olympic venue, so when I found out I could not
be on our boat, I began looking for other ways to be involved,” Shell explained. She added that one of the members of the Huntington Harbor Yacht Club had a very large boat that had been designated as a protocol boat, which would carry governmental leaders and dignitaries from foreign nations. As it turned out, the boat owner’s wife did not want to be a protocol boat hostess, and Shell was able to persuade the boat owner to allow her to be the hostess instead. “I became the hostess on that boat, and I got to serve kings and queens and other heads of state; I welcomed them on board and made them feel comfortable,” she said. “It was extremely exciting. The Olympic Committee provided us with trays of food, which we served to our royal passengers while we watched the sailboat races.” She noted that King Juan Carlos of Spain and his entourage were one of the groups that rode on that vessel. The Grossmans also remember that security was very tight during the 1984 Olympics. “I think they were afraid that terrorists might try to stage an attack, so our government was doing everything possible to prevent that from happening,” Sheldon said. “So they had the Coast Guard, the police and a lot of different agencies keeping a very close watch on everything.” Sheldon noted that one day Shell went to an Olympic soccer game at the Rose Bowl, so they allowed him to serve on the protocol boat in her absence. On that day, Swedish dignitaries rode on the vessel, and, according to Sheldon, one of them acted as if he was in command of the boat. He ordered the man at the helm to cross over the race paths marked with buoys in order to get closer to the sailboats. “I tried to explain to him that we could not do that, but he got all uptight and insisted, so we did what he ordered us to do,” Shel-
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Courtesy Bixby Knolls Car Wash
A recent snapshot of Sheldom and Shell Grossman sporting the outfits they wore while volunteering at the 1984 Olympics
don said. “Well, we didn’t get very far before a harbor patrol boat showed up at high speed and raised hell with us, and even threatened to pull our flag, which meant that we would not be allowed anywhere near the races.” “Another thing I will never forget is that they asked the truck drivers to drive only at night,” Shell said. “So imagine what the freeways were like during the daytime– no trucks! It was absolutely amazing.” The Grossmans said that every day of the sailboat competitions brought new thrilling experiences to them. “Watching the Olympic Torch being carried to the boat races was a very exciting
experience,” Sheldon said. “I also really enjoyed having a photographer from one of the national boating magazines on my boat. He was able to take some incredible shots of those races.” “For me, being able to be on that protocol boat was such an honor,” Shell said. “I will never forget it. Just being able to watch a historic event like the Olympics would have been enough, but to actually participate in it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Sheldon agreed. “It was an honor to be part of the 1984 Olympics,” he said. “I think all of us who were volunteers will cherish the memories of that summer for the rest of our lives.”
Signal Tribune 2012 Summer Olympics Special Section
Publisher/Editor in Chief: Neena R. Strichart Production Managers: Leighanna Nierle/Stephanie Raygoza Design Editor: Ariana Gastelum Advertising Sales: Neena R. Strichart Advertising Designers: Kaelyn Bruno/Leighanna Nierle Staff Writer: Nick Diamantides Editorial Interns: Adam Buchsbaum/Ariana Gastelum
B-4 Signal Tribune
July 20, 2012
July 20, 2012
Local Olympian gold medalist Steve Hegg recounts the life of a perpetual athlete
Neena Strichart/Signal Tribune
Local resident Olympic gold medalist Steve Hegg, decked out in Long Beach Cyclery gear and standing with one of the shop’s Cannondale EVO racing bikes, recently visited Brian Keate, owner of Long Beach Cyclery in Bixby Knolls. Adam Buchsbaum Editoral Intern
Steve Hegg always dreamed of the gold medal. “I remember watching the Olympics in black and white...I knew it was something I wanted to do,” Hegg said. He rode his bike everywhere and kept an active childhood. His dad became his first coach. “The captain’s word is law. ‘I can’t’ did not exist in our house. He was on it,” Hegg said. First, Hegg chased the ski racing medal for the 1984 Winter Olympics– not knowing that it wasn’t meant to be. Meanwhile, Hegg cross-trained in cycling. Famed Olympics cycling coach Eddie Borysewicz (a.k.a. Eddie B.) steered him elsewhere, after some unwelcome news. “It wasn’t hard for [Borysewicz] to get ahold of the US Ski Team and say, ‘Hey, what are the chances of this guy going to the Winter Olympics? Because I know I can use him in the summer,’” Hegg said. “He said to me in his Polish accent: ‘Hey, listen. I know for fact you not going.’ Broke my heart. So I asked the Ski Team coach, ‘What are my chances?’ And they basically said everybody that’s going to be in the Olympics is already over there skiing.” Hegg wouldn’t snatch the medal in skiing, so he called Borysewicz and said he’ll be there in two days. Why Borysewicz? “He was the guy, he was the only way,” Hegg said. Hegg was late to training by two to three weeks. The transition didn’t stop him, and he credits that to his youthful confidence– he was 19. “ I flew from Copper Mountain, Colorado to where I was living, Dana Point, [California] at the time. Basically, I got my bike cleaned up and overnight switched from being an Olympic prospect [for] downhill ski racing to going to Olympics cycling team training camp in Phoenix, Arizona,” Hegg said. Hegg and his fellow team members trained. “We did probably three months, maybe more,” Hegg said. “Probably anywhere from two to six hours a day, two hours being a rest day and six hours
being a long day.” He qualified and was not surprised, just determined. “I was very nervous,” Hegg admitted. “I went as hard as I could in the qualifying round, and I surprised myself and the whole world. I set a world record that day.” Hegg won the gold in the 4-kilometer individual pursuit at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. His parents were ecstatic. “I guess it was the best time of my life. Bike racing was great. Still is great...still ride a lot now,” he said. “But to be in the mix with the top guys in the world is pretty fun.” Hegg won the silver in the 4-kilometer team pursuit. He did note that despite the team’s hard training, it missed the gold because of some mishaps. “On the finish line, we started with four guys, and in the first 20 or 30 meters we ended up only having three because a guy pulled his foot off of the pedal, and there was no getting a restart or anything, so we just had to go,” he said. In it for life, Hegg road-raced afterwards and returned to the Olympics in 1996; he made the team and journeyed to Atlanta. It had been 12 years, and he was excited. Hegg ran the road race and individual time trial. “We were working for one guy, Lance Armstrong, at the time. And that's all we did,” Hegg said. “Cover all the breaks, make sure we had representation in the groups, so that Lance had a chance to ride as hard as he could later.” Hegg wanted to keep racing professionally. But soon he no longer could ride at the same level. “Right after the  Olympics I was getting ready for the World Championships and was taking some time off and had an accident and broke my femur,” he said. Hegg spent years trying to recover. “I just couldn’t get top form back,” he said. He trained a lot. “And I think that’s when the New York City marathon came in. A little pounding’s supposed to be good for the muscle...so tried that. Some mediocre results,” Hegg said. The marathon was very painful. He said he should have spent more time training. He even did Ironman once. “I was doing swim, run, cycle training before it was even cool,” he said. Hegg found it was time to retire. “[I] rode the 2000 Olympics Trials... and I was tired. Mentally probably more than physically. I’m watching the Tour de France, and I’m like, ‘Dang! That’d be fun. Maybe,’” Hegg said, then chuckled. He was getting older and going was tougher. “It was hard. The sponsors, they weren’t out there,” Hegg said. “And thinking about spending your own money to chase something that’s– you’re older, you’re not on good teams. It’s too much work.” Hegg enters Long Beach Cyclery, 3756 Long Beach Blvd., where he goes for his biking needs. He greets the owner and his bike buddy, Brian Keate. Bicycle builder and employee Gian Simonetti, who built for the likes of Lance Armstrong and Bobby Julich, stands by Keate. Hegg rides from 90 minutes to two hours during the week and tries to have a four-hour ride on Saturdays. He lives in Long Beach, in the Wrigley district. Hegg was born in Dana Point and lived in Carlsbad for many years; he’s always been a Southern Californian. His 9-year-old son rides a little now. “I’d love to ride with him more, but he’s still a beginner, and young, so you can’t push him too hard. And if he decides to ride, I want it to be something that he wants to do, not something that I chose for him,” Hegg said. “I called [my son] this morning and said, ‘What are you doing?’ and he says ‘I’m having breakfast, Dad, and watching the Tour de France.’ ‘Oh, yeah, me too.’ So that was exciting, kind of cute.’” Hegg has some advice for young athletes. “It’s so hard, and to be successful you have to be 100 percent in. There’s no testing the water with your toe,” Hegg said. “You’re either in or you’re out. You see kids that are in it, and they just don’t have the eye of the tiger.” Hegg remains a cyclist. He only skis occasionally now. “The beautiful thing about cycling is you can get dressed in your house, and wherever you keep your bike in the garage, you go out to your garage, you get your bike, and you go for a ride,” Hegg said. The 1984 Olympic gold medalist now works at Corridor Recycling, 22500 South Alameda St., one of the largest recycling facilities in the western United States. Meanwhile, he cycles. “When I ride, I just love it,” Hegg said. “I think it’s habitual now, but it’s just a great release. A great, I don’t know...I just get a high off it all the time.”
Steve Hegg of Dana Point, Calif., jubilates after winning his heat in the 4000-meter individual pursuit elimination, July 20, 1984 at Dominguez Hills, Calif. Hegg won the event with a total time of 4:35:57.
AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau
As American cyclist Steve Hegg looks on, American bronze medalist Leonard Nitz shakes hands with West Germany’s silver medalist Rolf Golz, left, during the awards presentations Aug. 1, 1984 in the 1984 summer Olympics in Carson, Calif. Hegg won gold in the 4,000meter individual pursuit race. AP Photo
Hegg was inducted into the U.S Bicycling Hall of Fame (USBHOF) located in Somerville, New Jersey, in 2006.
B-6 Signal Tribune
July 20, 2012
Who to Watch
Photos courtesy USA Olympic Committee
After a forgettable performance four years ago in Beijing, the US boxing team heads to London with high hopes. The nine-member squad is the second-largest boxing team at the Games its members are all well aware of the lofty expectations bestowed upon them. The team is led by veteran flyweight Rau’shee Warren. He’s the 2007 world champion and will become the first US boxer to compete in three Olympic Games. Although the International Boxing Association ranks him outside of the world’s top 10, Warren’s vast experience at international competitions makes him a strong candidate to bring home a medal. The 25-year-old native of Cincinnati, Ohio, will be gunning for his first Olympic medal. At the age of 17, Warren was the youngest boxer at the 2004 Athens Games, where he lost in the first round to China’s Xou Shimin, the eventual gold medalist. Four years later in Beijing, Warren was a gold medal favorite, but he managed to lose again in the first round, this time to South Korea’s Lee Ok-Sung. In the bout’s last minute, Warren was certain he was ahead on points, so he avoided engaging with Lee until the final bell sounded. He was then devastated to hear that the judges scored the bout 9-8 in Lee’s favor. Warren has put that crushing moment behind him and is entering these Games with a renewed focus and only one goal in mind: winning gold. The poor performance in Beijing was the worst for US boxing in more than a century– with the team collecting just one bronze medal. But London is a new page and the team is entering these Games with a chip on its shoulder and pride in its heart. The team has faced mounting criticism over the years for its poor showing on many international stages. Team captain Jamel Herring (light welterweight) said during qualifying that London 2012 will be the team’s chance to prove to the world that US boxing is as strong as ever. Herring is a US Marine sergeant and the winner of two Armed Forces national championships.
Gymnastics competitions have entertained audiences since the games in Ancient Greece, and today they’re often among the most popular events of the Summer Olympics. With their seamless combination of grace, skill and strength, the athletes in London are poised to put on a dazzling show. The US gymnastics team is among the world’s best, and its members are expected to challenge for medals in all three disciplines: artistic, rhythmic and trampoline. On the women’s side, the hype surrounding 17-year-old artistic gymnast Jordyn Wieber is quickly gaining momentum. Wieber is the reigning all-around world champion and American Cup champion, and comes to London with gold medal expectations. Considered the face of US women’s gymnastics, Weiber has been a dominant force over the last two years and is a heavy favorite to win all-around gold in London. Weiber will be up against fellow American Gabrielle Douglas, who defeated her in the all-around competition at the Olympic Trials. Douglas, who excels at the uneven bars, will surely put on a show and could come home with a medal or two. McKayla Maroney will be a big part of the team event and promises to impress in the vault competition. Her astonishing abilities on the vault often leave audiences in awe and the judges impressed. On the men’s side, Danell Leyva is the reigning US champion and one of the country’s best chances to capture gold. Although the Cuban-American star is competing in his first Olympic Games, Leyva has the skill and swagger to put on an electrifying show. John Orozco also comes to London as a podium hopeful. The 19-year-old Orozco is a native of the Bronx in New York City and has an exceptional amount of raw talent that could lead to him becoming a household name by the end of the games. Orozco was the top American finisher (fifth) at the 2011 gymnastics world championships. Raised in a rough part of the Bronx, Orozco is the youngest of five children whose parents were born in Puerto Rico.
SHOWN: Rau’shee Warren
SHOWN: (from left) Jordyn Wieber, John Orozco.
July 20, 2012
SHOWN: (from left) Hope Solo, Christine Rampone.
The US women’s soccer team also comes to London with a chip on its shoulder after losing the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup final in a shootout to Japan. That loss still hurts for those players, and you can bet they’ll be all business when the whistle blows to start Game 1 of the soccer competition. Team USA is the world’s top-ranked team, so suffice it to say that anything short of a gold medal will be disappointing. That kind of pressure can be difficult to handle, but between the leadership of captain Christine Rampone, the goaltending of Hope Solo, and the scoring prowess of Alex Morgan, this team will be just fine. Solo is widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world. She is very athletic, moves with ease and controls the ball extremely well. Some may remember Solo from her time on Dancing with the Stars, but she’s made a name for herself as one of the planet’s best soccer players. On the defensive side of the field, the team is well protected with the trustworthy play of Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn and Shannon Boxx. Rampone is playing in her record fourth Olympics and will be trying to lead her team to a third consecutive gold medal. On the offensive side of the ball, the team is above its competition. The US forwards have been on a tear in 2012, and you can expect that trend to continue in London. Amy Rodriguez is strong up the middle and distributes the ball efficiently to strikers Morgan and Abby Wambach. Morgan has emerged as a scoring machine, and she’ll be the player to watch for during this tournament. The 22-year-old has notched 24 goals in 39 games with the national team, and her pace is speeding up. Morgan and Wambach easily form the best goalscoring combination in the world, and they’ll be fun to watch when the action kicks off.
Track & Field
Taylor, Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross.
SHOWN: (clockwise from top left) Tyson Gay, Angelo
Track and ﬁeld events trace their roots back to the original Olympic Games, and they’ve since evolved into a global sport on the cutting edge of modern athletics. Team USA is sending an elite contingent of athletes to compete in a variety of disciplines as it seeks to solidify its status as the world’s best track and ﬁeld nation. At the 2008 Beijing Games, Jamaican Usain Bolt became an instant household name when he dominated the ﬁeld, breaking longstanding records and winning three gold medals. The best chance for an American to challenge Bolt in London will be Tyson Gay. The 29-year-old Kentucky native is the second-fastest man in the world, and he’s beaten Bolt before. Gay was once dubbed the fastest man in the worldchampion of both the 100 and 200 meters in 2007. However, since then he’s battled nagging injuries, preventing him from defending his titles. London will likely be Gay’s ﬁnal shot at Olympic glory as he competes against the man who took away his prestigious title. One of the most thrilling track events to watch is the hurdles, and the American to watch for is Angelo Taylor. He’s a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 400-meter hurdles and has the chance to become the ﬁrst man in history to win three gold medals in the event. Decathlon superstar Ashton Eaton should become a much more familiar name by the end of these games. The Oregon native put on a historic performance at the US Trials, setting a world record in the multi-event race. The decathlon is considered the ultimate test in track and ﬁeld, with the winner traditionally earning the title of “World’s Greatest Athlete.” On the women’s side, Allyson Felix will be looking to continue her dominance of the 200-meter sprint event. The 26year-old California native won 200-meter silver in both Athens and Beijing, as well as 4x400-meter gold four years ago. Sanya Richards-Ross is a gold medal favorite in the 400meter sprint event, a race in which she won bronze in Beijing. The Jamaican-born sprinter has developed a small rivalry with Britain’s Christine Ohuruogo (the 400-meter gold medalist in Beijing) and you can bet Richards-Ross would love to beat her on her own turf.
SHOWN: (from left) Connor Fields, Sarah Hammer,
Olympic cycling is an assorted event with four main disciplines designed to challenge athletes on a variety of levels. From roads, to mountains, to the velodrome track and the BMX arenas, cycling at the London Games will take audiences on a ride into the exciting world of this two-wheeled competition. Olympic cycling was traditionally composed of track and road events, with mountain biking and bicycle motocross (BMX) recently added to the slate. London promises to be exciting for US cycling fans as the team is sending a number of medal hopefuls to all four cycling events. Connor Fields tops the list of US favorites competing in men’s BMX. At just 19, he’s won three straight World Cup finals and is the reigning national champion. Look for Fields in the supercross event, where he’s expected to put on a thrilling show and perhaps bring home his first Olympic medal. Women’s BMX is headlined by Alise Post, who is coming off a World Cup bronze medal and national championship. Expected to compete for gold, she’s among the world’s elite in this competition and is nicknamed “The Beast,” despite her 5’2” frame. Sarah Hammer will be looking to avenge a disappointing performance in Beijing, where she finished fifth in the individual pursuit in her signature event. The International Cycling Union has since decided to scrap the individual pursuit, a race in which Hammer holds the world record, from Olympic competition. But that’s alright for Hammer as she’s excelled at a new track event, the omnium. This is a new Olympic sport and is described as the heptathlon of track cycling. Hammer is the only US cyclist in the event, and based on her third-place finish in the 2012 world championships, she should be a goldmedal contender.
B-8 Signal Tribune
July 20, 2012
London takes stage for 2012 Summer Olympics xcitement around the world has reached a fever pitch as the London 2012 Olympic Games will officially open with a grand ceremony on July 27 from London’s Olympic Stadium. The Games of the 30th Olympiad will run from Friday, July 27, to Sunday, Aug. 12, and NBC will carry every event live online or tape-delayed in prime time. That’s great news for audiences in the US, who will now be able to follow their country’s successes with unprecedented exposure. Past Olympic coverage has focused on highlighting top events to air in evening time-slots, and while NBC will continue that tradition, it will also offer abundant coverage via online streaming video. Fans will be given ample opportunity to follow what promises to be one of the best American contingents to compete at a Summer Games. Team USA has won the medal count in every Summer Olympics since 1992 and this year you can expect that streak to continue. After collecting eight gold medals in eight events at the 2008 Beijing Games, Michael Phelps will again be hitting the pool to repre-
sent the Stars and Stripes. While it’s unlikely that Phelps will duplicate his 2008 success, there is one record that he’ll surely be thinking about in his preparation for these Games. Phelps heads to London needing just three medals to surpass Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina (18 medals) as the most decorated Olympic athlete ever. Should he accomplish the feat, Phelps, at the tender age of 27, would cement his legacy as history’s greatest Olympian. While Phelps is at the top of the list of American athletes to watch, there are many more notable Americans to keep an eye on at the Aquatics Centre. Ryan Lochte is a three-time gold medalist and could be Phelps’ top competitor in the pool. With Lochte and Phelps leading the way, it could be a battle for bronze for the rest of the field. Other notable American athletes expected to make some noise are Missy Franklin (swimming), Allyson Felix (track and field), Jordyn Wieber (gymnastics) and Rau’shee Warren (boxing). Another exuberant athlete who caught the world’s attention in Beijing comes to London to defend his title of fastest man in the world. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt took the world by storm in 2008, shattering the 100-metre world record while also picking up gold medals in the 200-metre and 4x100-metre relay. Bolt’s flair and enthusiasm endeared him to fans around the
London 2012 mascots Wenlock and Mandeville
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world and many expect him to continue where he left off in Beijing. For Great Britain, there will be a considerable amount of pressure to please the home crowds. In Beijing, the UK tallied 19 gold medals and 47 in total, enough for fourth place in both categories. It’s safe to say that the host nation expects to improve on those numbers and will strive to finish in the top three, most likely behind Team USA and China. The face of the games for the host nation will be composed of a number of British athletes who will be gunning for hometown glory. Scottish track cyclist Chris Hoy will be a Briton to watch during the Games. The man they call “The Real McHoy” took home three gold medals from Beijing– the first Briton to accomplish the feat in a century– and is poised to hit the podium again in London. English swimmer Rebecca Adlington was a double gold medalist in 2008 and is a rising star back home in England. Her 800-metre swim in Beijing broke the event’s longest-standing record, one that had been in the books for 19 years. Adlington has recently developed a friendly rivalry with Italy’s Federica Pellegrini, who is a dominant force in these events, so you can expect some
Courtesy London Olympics
heated showdowns between these two powerhouses. Team USA’s domination on the basketball court will likely continue as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James will lead one of the best American squads into an Olympics since the original Dream Team in 1992. As good as they’ll be, the US will face stiff competition from Spain, Argentina and Italy. Meanwhile, the women’s team, led by Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, will be looking to record its fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal. Another team sport that garners plenty of attention is soccer. The American women– the No. 1-ranked team in the world– will be playing with a chip on their shoulders after losing in the 2011 FIFA World Cup final to Japan. Meanwhile, the men will be looking to regain some international respect after being eliminated in the first round at Beijing. It’s been a long road for London 2012 organizers since being selected Olympic host in July 2005. These Games mark the first time that a city will stage the Olympics for a third time– Athens and Paris are the only other cities to host twice. London first hosted in 1908, just 12 years after the first modern Olympics. It hosted again in 1948, as London represented the Olympics’ restoration after a 12year hiatus due to World War II. Now the city is tasked with following the grandiose Beijing Games, which operated on a gargantuan budget. London’s advantage is in its blend of historic venues with modern settings and locales. Soccer will be played at storied Wembley Stadium, tennis at Wimbledon’s All England Club and beach volleyball at the historic Horse Guards Parade– the political centre of the UK. The Games’ closing ceremony will take place Aug. 12, at Olympic Park. A momentous component of the ceremony is the march of the athletes, when the athletes walk out together, absent of national grouping. This tradition began during the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games and is a symbolic way to bring the athletes of the world together. The ceremony will conclude with the Olympic Torch handover to the next host city: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
July 20, 2012
Signal Hill real-estate developer Pat Haney shares experience at the ‘68 and ‘84 Olympics Ariana Gastelum Editorial Intern
Photo by Neena Strichart
Pat Haney, owner of Haney Co. real-estate development in Signal Hill, saved his uniform from when he worked as a volunteer at the 1984 Olympics.
Courtesy Patrick Haney
Patrick Haney’s identification card as a volunteer for the volleyball event in the 1984 Olympics
Pat Haney, owner of Haney Co. real-estate development in Signal Hill, and his family joined screaming patriots as they cheered for their country’s most outstanding athletes in the Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968 and Los Angeles in 1984. In Mexico City, Haney stayed in a home that was only three or four blocks away from the Olympic Village, which housed all the participating athletes, officials and athletic trainers. As a water-polo player in high school and college, he naturally desired to see a waterpolo game. While on a bus to a game, Haney was surprised to see the US water-polo team joining him. “So, I thought they were just going to drop me off by the gate, but we went right on in [to the Olympic Village],” Haney said. As he got off the bus, he was swarmed by a number of kids that wanted him to autograph their souvenirs. “I tried to tell them I wasn’t an athlete, but they wouldn’t let me leave,” Haney said. He finally surrendered and signed his name on all of their posses-
sions so that they would leave him alone. Haney watched the opening and closing ceremonies in addition to numerous events. However, during the closing ceremony, the festive mood quickly transitioned to fear. The wave of fireworks above the audience began to come down on them. “Flames were just shooting down. One caught onto the girl’s hair in front of me,” Haney said. Fortunately, he managed to help her put it out. The LA Olympics is known to be the most financially successful, according to LA84 Foundation, a private nonprofit foundation dedicated to the development of youth sport. It was the first to be staged without government financing and was instead dependent on existing facilities and corporate sponsors. They made a profit of $223.5 million. The US Olympic Committee received 60 percent of the earnings to fund athlete-development programs. The other 40 percent was given to the LA84 Foundation to promote youth sports in Southern California. Haney was given the opportunity to work as a volunteer for some of the games. “Two of my daughters played volleyball,” Haney said. “So I knew one of the volleyball offi-
cials.” This official was actually Haney’s daughters’ coach, who gave him the option. There were about 20 people who volunteered– a few for every sport. The ones dressed in baby-blue suits were of “higher level,” according to Haney. “They ended up paying me $750 as a bonus because I did a good job,” Haney added. Brian Diemer, track-and-field athlete from Michigan and Haney’s former wife’s cousin, competed in the steeplechase event– a 3,000-meter race that includes hurdles and a water obstacle. Diemer earned the bronze medal completing the event with a time of 8:14.06. Haney and his family were surrounded by Diemer’s relatives. “Someone asked me, ‘Do you know that guy?’ I said, ‘Yeah, that’s my wife’s cousin,’” Haney recalled. “Pretty soon, the crowd began yelling out, ‘Brian! Brian! Brian!’ because we knew him.” Haney saved all kinds of objects from both events such as his volunteer uniform, tickets and pins. He also recorded parts of every event he saw in Mexico City, the video of which can be viewed on Signal Tribune’s website.
Courtesy Patrick Haney
Volunteers at the 1984 Olympics, wearing baby-blue uniforms that were considered “higher level” according to Patrick Haney, who is located second from right.
Courtesy michiganrunner.net Photo by Victah Sailer
Brian Diemer, the ex-University of Michigan AllAmerican was a three-time U.S. Olympian in steeplechase, winning bronze at the 1984 Summer Games. He performed at numerous world championships and continues to give back to the sport as Calvin College’s distance-running coach and organizer of events.
Above and right: Pat Haney’s collection of memorabilia from Mexico City and the 1984 Olympics
Courtesy Patrick Haney
B-10 Signal Tribune
July 20, 2012
July 20, 2012
Wednesday, July 25
8:30 a.m. (NBCSN) Soccer (W) United States vs. France (6h30)
3:00 p.m. (NBCSN) Soccer (W) United States vs. France (R) (6h30) 9:30 p.m. (NBCSN) Soccer (W) United States vs. France (R) (6h30) 4:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Soccer (M) Qualifying Round (11h) Thursday, July 26
3:00 p.m. (NBCSN) Soccer (M) Qualifying Round (R)
TV Listings (11h)
5:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Soccer (M) (R) (11h) Friday, July 27
7:30 p.m. (NBC) Opening Ceremony Coverage of the official Opening Ceremony of the XXXth Olympiad in London. (4h30)
1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Soccer (W) U.S. vs. Columbia, Beach Volleyball, Volleyball (W), Equestrian, Fencing (W), Shooting 10m Air Rifle, Archery (M), Handball (W) (16h) 2:30 a.m. (NBC) Opening Ceremony Coverage of the official Opening Ceremony of
WHEN TO WATCH
the XXXth Olympiad in London. (R) (2h30)
4:00 a.m. (MSNBC) Soccer (W) Qualifying Round, Beach Volleyball Qualifying Round, Handball (W) Qualifying Round (10h) (BRAVO) Tennis (M, W) Early Rounds (8h)
5:00 a.m. (NBC) Swimming, Cycling (M) Road Race, Beach Volleyball, Volleyball (W) U.S. vs. South Korea, Basketball (W), Rowing (13h)
5:30 a.m. (CNBC) Boxing Elimination Bouts
Saturday, July 28
12:30 p.m. (CNBC) Boxing Elimination Bouts (3h) 8:00 p.m. (NBC) Swimming (M, W) 400m Individual Medley Gold Medal Final, Swimming (M) 400m Freestyle Gold Medal Final, Swimming (W) 4x100m Freestyle Relay Gold Medal Final, Gymnastics (M), Beach Volleyball (4h)
12:30 a.m. (NBC) Weightlifting (W) Gold Medal Final, Table Tennis Qualifying Round (1h)
1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Basketball (M) U.S. vs. France and Spain vs. China, Field
Signal Tribune Hockey (W), Beach Volleyball, Handball (M), Shooting (W), Archery (W) (15h)
4:00 a.m. (MSNBC) Soccer (M) Brazil vs. Belarus, Soccer (M) Great Britain vs. United Arab Emirates, Weightlifting, Badminton, Table Tennis (10h) (BRAVO) Tennis (M, W) Early Rounds (8h)
5:30 a.m. (CNBC) Boxing Elimination Bouts (3h) Sunday, July 29
7:00 a.m. (NBC) Gymnastics (W), Swimming, Cycling (W) Road Race, Beach Volleyball, Volleyball (M) U.S. vs.
Serbia, Water Polo (M) U.S. vs. Montenegro, Rowing (11h)
12:30 p.m. (CNBC) Boxing Elimination Bouts (3h)
7:00 p.m. (NBC) Gymnastics (W), Swimming (W) 400m Butterfly Gold Medal, Swimming (W) 400m Freestyle Gold Medal Final, Swimming (M) 100m Breaststroke Gold Medal, Swimming (M) 4x100m Freestyle Relay Gold Medal, Diving (W) Springboard Synchronized Gold Medal (5h) 12:30 a.m. (NBC) Canoeing Whitewater CONTINUED ON FOLLOWING PAGES
B-12 Signal Tribune
Qualifying Heats (4h)
1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Basketball (W) U.S. vs. Angola, Beach Volleyball Qualifying, Volleyball (W) Qualifying, Equestrian, Boxing, Shooting (M) 10m Air Rifle (16h)
4:00 a.m. (BRAVO) Tennis (M, W) Early Rounds (8h) Monday, July 30
6:00 a.m. (MSNBC) Basketball (W), Water Polo (W), Weightlifting, Table Tennis, Badminton, Field Hockey (M), Handball (W) (9h)
10:00 a.m. (NBC) Swimming, Beach Volleyball, Volleyball (W) U.S. vs. Brazil, Water Polo (W) U.S. vs. Hungary, Rowing, Canoeing (7h) 2:00 p.m. (CNBC) Boxing Elimination Bouts (3h)
8:00 p.m. (NBC) Swimming (M) 200m Freestyle Gold Medal, Swimming (M) 100m Backstroke Gold Medal, Swimming (W) 100m Backstroke Gold Medal, Swimming (W) 100m Breaststroke Gold Medal, Gymnastics (M) Team Gold Medal, Diving (M) Platform Synchronized Gold Medal Final (4h) 12:30 a.m. (NBC) Swimming Semifinals, Canoeing Whitewater Qualifying Heats (1h)
1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Soccer (W) U.S. vs. North Korea, Basketball (M) U.S. vs. Tunisia and France vs. Argentina, Equestrian, Beach Volleyball, Water Polo (M), Boxing, Shooting (M) (16h) 4:00 a.m. (BRAVO) Tennis (M, W) Singles Early Rounds and Doubles Quarter-finals (8h) Tuesday, July 31
6:00 a.m. (MSNBC) Field Hockey (W) United States vs. Argentina, Basketball (M),
Soccer (W), Weightlifting, Table Tennis (W), Handball (M), Badminton (9h)
(NBC) 10:00 a.m. Swimming, Beach Volleyball, Volleyball (M) U.S. vs. Germany, Water Polo (M) U.S. vs. Romania, Canoeing (M) Whitewater C-1 Gold Medal Final, Rowing (7h) 2:00 p.m. (CNBC) Boxing Elimination Bouts (3h)
8:00 p.m. (NBC) Gymnastics (W) Team Gold Medal, Swimming (M) 200m Butterfly Gold Medal, Swimming (M) 4x200m Freestyle Relay Gold Medal, Swimming (W) 200m Freestyle Gold Medal, Swimming (W) 200m Individual Medley Gold Medal, Diving (W) Platform Synchronized Gold Medal (4h) 12:30 a.m. (NBC) Swimming Semifinals, Beach Volleyball Qualifying Round (1h)
1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Basketball (W), Soccer (M), Beach Volleyball Qualifying, Field Hockey (M) Qualifying, Shooting (W) 25m Pistol (16h) 4:00 a.m. (BRAVO) Tennis (M, W) Early Rounds (8h) Wednesday, Aug 1
6:00 a.m. (MSNBC) Soccer (M), Basketball (W), Boxing, Weightlifting, Sabre (W), Table Tennis (M), Handball (W), Badminton (9h)
10:00 a.m. (NBC) Swimming, Beach Volleyball, Volleyball (W) U.S. vs. China, Water Polo (W) U.S. vs. Spain, Cycling Individual Time Trial, Rowing Gold Medal Final, Canoeing (M) Whitewater K-1 Gold Medal Final (7h) 2:00 p.m. (CNBC) Boxing Elimination Bouts (3h)
8:00 p.m. (NBC) Swimming (M) 200m Breaststroke Gold Medal, Swimming (M) 100m
WHEN TO WATCH
Freestyle Gold Medal, Swimming (W) 200m Butterfly Gold Medal, Swimming (W) 4x200m Freestyle Relay Gold Medal, Gymnastics (M) AllAround Gold Medal Final, Diving (M) Gold Medal (4h)
12:30 a.m. (NBC) Swimming Semifinals, Table Tennis (W) Singles Gold Medal Final (1h)
1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Basketball (M), Beach Volleyball Qualifying, Volleyball (M) Qualifying, Field Hockey (W), Boxing, Table Tennis (M), Shooting (M) Double Trap, Archery (W) (16h) 4:00 a.m. (BRAVO) Tennis (M, W) Singles Quarter-finals and Doubles Semifinals (8h) Thursday, Aug 2
6:00 a.m. (MSNBC) Basketball (M) Qualifying Round, Water Polo (M) Qualifying Round, Field Hockey (W) Qualifying Round, Handball (M) Qualifying Round, Badminton Semifinals, Judo (W) Gold Medal Final, Equestrian Dressage Qualifying (9h) 10:00 a.m. (NBC) Swimming, Beach Volleyball, Volleyball (M) U.S. vs. Brazil, Water Polo (M) U.S. vs. Great Britain, Track Cycling (M) Gold Medal Final, (7h) 2:00 p.m. (CNBC) Boxing Elimination Bouts (3h)
8:00 p.m. (NBC) Gymnastics (W) All-Around Gold Medal, Swimming (W) 200m Backstroke Gold Medal, Swimming (W) 100m Freestyle Gold Medal, Swimming (M) 200m Backstroke Gold Medal, Swimming (M) 200m Individual Medley Gold Medal, Beach Volleyball, Rowing (W) Eights Gold Medal (4h) 12:30 a.m. (NBC) Canoeing (W) Whitewater K-1 Gold Medal, Table Tennis (M) Singles Gold
1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Basketball (W), Soccer (W) Quarter-final, Beach Volleyball, Volleyball (W) Qualifying, Boxing, Archery (M), Shooting (M) 50m Prone Rifle (16h) 4:00 a.m. (BRAVO) Tennis (M, W) Singles Semifinal (8h) Friday, Aug 3
6:00 a.m. (MSNBC) Gymnastics (M) Trampoline Qualifying, Weightlifting Gold Medal Finals, Handball (W) Qualifying Round, Equestrian, Badminton (M) Singles Semifinals, Badminton (W) Singles Semifinals, Badminton Mixed Doubles Bronze Medal, Table Tennis Team Competition (9h) 10:00 a.m. (NBC) Swimming, Track & Field (W) 10,000m Gold Medal, Beach Volleyball, Water Polo (W) U.S. vs. China, Gymnastics (M) Trampoline Gold Medal, Rowing Gold Medal (7h) 2:00 p.m. (CNBC) Boxing Elimination Bouts (3h)
8:00 p.m. (NBC) Swimming (M) 100m Butterfly Gold Medal, Swimming (M) 50m Freestyle Gold Medal, Swimming (W) 800m Freestyle Gold Medal, Track & Field (M) Shot Put Gold Medal, Diving (W), Volleyball (W) U.S. vs. Serbia, Track Cycling Gold Medal (4h)
12:30 a.m. (NBC) Track & Field Qualifying, Badminton (M, W) Doubles Gold Medal (1h)
1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Basketball (M), Triathlon (W), Tennis (M) Doubles, Beach Volleyball, Field Hockey (W) U.S. vs. New Zealand, Equestrian, Track Cycling, Weightlifting (M) (16h) 4:00 a.m. (MSNBC) Soccer (M) Quarter-finals, Water Polo (M) Qualifying Round, Badminton (W) Doubles Gold Medal Final, Bad-
July 20, 2012
minton (W) Singles Bronze Medal, Track and Field (M) 20K Walk (11h)
(CNBC) 5:30 a.m. Boxing Elimination Bouts (3h) Saturday, Aug 4
9:00 a.m. (NBC) Track & Field (M) 10,000m Gold Medal, Tennis (W) Gold Medal, Volleyball (M) U.S. vs. Russia, Water Polo (M) U.S. vs. Serbia, Track Cycling Gold Medal, Rowing Gold Medal, Gymnastics (W) Trampoline Gold Medal (9h) 12:30 p.m. (CNBC) Boxing Elimination Bouts (3h)
8:00 p.m. (NBC) Swimming (M, W) 4x100m Relay Gold Medal, Swimming (W) 50m Freestyle Gold Medal, Swimming (M) 1500m Free Gold Medal, Track & Field (W) 100m Gold Medal, Track & Field (W) Heptathlon Gold Medal, Track & Field (M) Long Jump Gold Medal, Diving (W) (4h)
12:30 a.m. (NBC) Track & Field Gold Medal, Badminton (W) Singles Gold Medal (1h)
1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Tennis (W) Doubles, Beach Volleyball Quarter-final, Weightlifting (W), Volleyball (W), Track Cycling, Field Hockey (M), Badminton (M) (15h)
4:00 a.m. (MSNBC) Water Polo (W) Quarter-final, Wrestling Greco Roman Gold Medal Finals, Synchronized Swimming Duet Qualifying Round, Field Hockey (M) Qualifying Round, Table Tennis (M) Team Quarter-final, Handball (W) Qualifying Round (11h) 5:30 a.m. (CNBC) Boxing Elimination Bouts (3h) Sunday, Aug 5
Marathon (W), Beach Volleyball, Tennis (M) Gold Medal, Volleyball (W) U.S. vs. Turkey, Water Polo (W) Quarter-final, Basketball (W) U.S. vs. China, Track Cycling Gold Medal, Equestrian Team Jumping Gold Medal Round 1 (12h)
12:30 p.m. (CNBC) Boxing Elimination Bouts (2h)
7:00 p.m. (NBC) Gymnastics (M) Floor Exercise Gold Medal, Gymnastics (W) Vault Gold Medal, Track & Field (M) 100m Gold Medal, Track & Field (W) 400m Gold Medal, Track & Field (W) Triple Jump Gold Medal, Diving (W) Springboard Gold Medal, Beach Volleyball (5h)
12:30 a.m. (NBC) Track & Field Gold Medal, Badminton (M) Singles Gold Medal (1h) 1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Basketball (M) U.S. vs. Argentina, Soccer (W) Semifinal, Boxing (W) Quarter-final, Field Hockey (W) U.S. vs. South Africa, Volleyball (M), Weightlifting (M), Shooting (M) (16h) Monday, Aug 6
6:00 a.m. (MSNBC) Beach Volleyball Quarter-finals, Basketball (M) Spain vs. Brazil, Wrestling Greco Roman Gold Medal Finals, Table Tennis Team Semifinals (9h) 10:00 a.m. (NBC) Track & Field, Volleyball (M) U.S. vs. Tunisia, Water Polo (M) U.S. vs. Hungary, Track Cycling Gold Medal, Equestrian Team Jumping Gold Medal, Synchronized Swimming Duet, Canoeing (7h) 2:00 p.m. (CNBC) Boxing (M) Quarter-final (3h)
8:00 p.m. (NBC) Gymnastics (M) Still Rings Gold Medal, Gymnastics (W) Uneven Bars Gold Medal, Track & Field
July 20, 2012
(M) 400m Gold Medal, Track & Field (M) 400m Hurdles Gold Medal, Track & Field (W) Pole Vaulting Gold Medal, Beach Volleyball, Diving (M) Springboard (4h)
12:30 a.m. (NBC) Track & Field Gold Medal, Track Cycling Events (1h) 1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Basketball (W) Quarter-final, Soccer (M) Semifinal, Triathlon (M), Track Cycling, Equestrian, Synchronized Swimming, Field Hockey (M) (16h) Tuesday, Aug 7
6:00 a.m. (MSNBC) Beach Volleyball Semifinals, Volleyball (W) Quarter-finals, Water Polo (W) Semifinals, Wrestling Gold Medal Final, Table Tennis (W) Team Gold Medal Final (9h) 10:00 a.m. (NBC) Track & Field, Beach Volleyball, Volleyball (W) Quarter-final, Diving (M) Springboard, Water Polo (W), Track Cycling Gold Medal, Canoeing (7h) 2:00 p.m. (CNBC) Boxing (M) Quarter-ďŹ nal (3h)
8:00 p.m. (NBC) Gymnastics (M) Parallel Bars Gold Medal, Gymnastics (W) Balance Beam Gold Medal, Gymnastics (W) Floor Exercise Gold Medal, Track & Field (W) 100m Hurdles Gold Medal, Track & Field
(M) 1500m Gold Medal, Diving (M) Springboard Gold Medal (4h)
12:30 a.m. (NBC) Track & Field Gold Medal, Weightlifting (M) Heavyweight Gold Medal (1h) 1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Basketball (M) Quarter-final, Field Hockey (W) Semifinal, Handball (M) Quarterfinal, Table Tennis (M) Team Bronze Medal (16h) Wednesday, Aug 8
6:00 a.m. (MSNBC) Volleyball (M) Quarter-final, Water Polo (M) Quarter-final, Boxing (W) Semifinal, Wrestling (W) Gold Medal Finals (9h)
10:00 a.m. (NBC) Track & Field, Water Polo (M) Quarter-final, Cycling (M, W) BMX, Beach Volleyball Bronze Medal, Equestrian Individual Jumping Gold Medal, Canoeing Sprint Gold Medal (7h) 2:00 p.m. (CNBC) Boxing Elimination Bouts (3h)
8:00 p.m. (NBC) Track & Field (W) 200m Gold Medal, Track & Field (W) 400m Hurdles Gold Medal, Track & Field (W) Long Jump Gold Medal, Track & Field (M) 110m Hurdles Gold Medal, Diving (W) Platform, Beach Volleyball Gold Medal
WHEN TO WATCH (3h08)
(NBC) 12:05 a.m. Track & Field Qualifying, Table Tennis (M) Team Gold Medal (1h)
1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Soccer (W) Gold and Bronze Medal, Basketball (W) Semifinal, Synchronized Swimming, Wrestling (W), Field Hockey (M) Semifinal (16h) Thursday, Aug 9
6:00 a.m. (MSNBC) Basketball (W) Semifinals, Volleyball (W) Semifinal, Water Polo (W) Bronze Medal, Equestrian Individual Dressage Gold Medal Final, Field Hockey (M) Semifinal, Handball (W) Semifinal (9h) 10:00 a.m. (NBC) Track & Field, Diving (W) Platform, Water Polo (W) Gold Medal, Volleyball (W) Semifinal, Beach Volleyball (M) Bronze Medal, Swimming (W) Marathon, Canoeing Sprint Gold Medal (7h) 2:00 p.m. (CNBC) Boxing (W) Gold Medal Final (3h)
8:00 p.m. (NBC) Track & Field Decathlon Gold Medal, Track & Field (M) Triple Jump Gold Medal, Track & Field (M) 200m Gold Medal, Track & Field (M) 800m Gold Medal, Diving (W) Platform Gold Medal, Beach
Volleyball (M) Gold Medal, Cycling (M) BMX (4h)
12:30 a.m. (NBC) Track & Field Gold Medal, Gymnastics Rhythmic Qualifying (1h) 1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Basketball (M) Semifinal, Boxing Semifinal, Wrestling Freestyle, Field Hockey (W) Bronze and Gold Medal (16h) Friday, Aug 10
7:00 a.m. (MSNBC) Soccer (M) Bronze Medal, Volleyball (M) Semifinal, Water Polo (M) Semifinal, Wrestling Freestyle Repechages, Handball (M) Semifinal (8h)
10:00 a.m. (NBC) Water Polo (M) Semifinal, Gymnastics Rhythmic, Synchronized Swimming Team Gold Medal, Wrestling Freestyle Gold Medal, Swimming (M) Marathon, Canoeing (7h) 2:00 p.m. (CNBC) Boxing Semifinals (3h)
8:00 p.m. (NBC) Track & Field (M) 4x400m Relay Gold Medal, Track & Field (M) Pole Vault Gold Medal, Track & Field (W) 4x100m Relay Gold Medal, Track & Field (W) 1500m Gold Medal, Diving (M) Platform, Cycling BMX Gold Medal, Volley-
ball (M) Semifinal (4h)
(NBC) 12:30 a.m. Track & Field Gold Medal (1h) 1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Soccer (M) Gold Medal Final, Track and Field (M) 50k Walk, Track and Field (W) 20k Walk, Handball (W) Bronze and Gold Medal Final, Taekwondo Gold Medal (16h) Saturday, Aug 11
7:00 a.m. (MSNBC) Basketball (W) Bronze Medal, Field Hockey (M) Gold Medal Final, Field Hockey (M) Bronze Medal, Modern Pentathlon (M), Taekwondo Qualifying Match (7h)
Diving (M) Platform Gold Medal, Volleyball (W) Gold Medal (4h)
12:30 a.m. (NBC) Wrestling Freestyle Gold Medal (1h)
1:00 a.m. (NBCSN) Basketball (M) Bronze Medal, Volleyball (M) Bronze Medal, Water Polo (M) Bronze Medal Final, Handball (M) Bronze and Gold Medal Final, Modern Pentathlon (W) Gold Medal Final (16h) 4:00 a.m. (NBC) Marathon (M) (3h)
(MSNBC) Cycling (M) Mountain Bike Gold Medal Final, Wrestling Freestyle Qualifying (4h)
10:00 a.m. (NBC) Basketball (W) Gold Medal, Gymnastics Rhythmic Gold Medal, Cycling (W) Mountain Bike Gold Medal, Volleyball (W) Bronze Medal, Wrestling Freestyle Semifinal, Canoeing Sprint Gold Medal (8h)
5:30 a.m. (CNBC) Boxing Gold Medal Finals (2h30)
8:00 p.m. (NBC) Track & Field (M) 4x100m Relay Gold Medal, Track & Field (M) 5000m Gold Medal, Track & Field (W) 4x400m Relay Gold Medal, Track & Field (W) High Jump Gold Medal,
7:00 p.m. (NBC) Closing Ceremony Coverage of the official Closing Ceremony of the XXXth Olympiad in London. (3h38)
12:30 p.m. (CNBC) Boxing Gold Medal Finals (2h30)
Sunday, Aug 12
7:00 a.m. (NBC) Basketball (M) Gold Medal, Volleyball (M) Gold Medal, Water Polo (M) Gold Medal, Wrestling Freestyle Gold Medal, Gymnastics Rhythmic Group Gold Medal (8h)
B-14 Signal Tribune
July 20, 2012
July 20, 2012
B-16 Signal Tribune
July 20, 2012
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July 20, 2012
All eyes on Phelps
ichael Phelps made a huge Olympic splash four years ago in Beijing, winning eight gold medals in the most dominating performance in Olympic history. Phelps, 26, has made it clear that London will be his final Olympics and he’ll be looking to go out with a bang, needing just three medals to break the all-time record. The “Baltimore Bullet” has won 16 medals (14 gold) in two Olympic Games, but he enters the London Olympics with some questions regarding his commitment to the sport. Phelps has stated that he’s growing tired of the water and is looking forward to a life after swimming. That said, don’t expect this fiery competitor to breeze through his final Olympics just to break a record. He’ll be in every race to win it. Over the past few months, Phelps has appeared to be lacking his trademark intensity, but after a grueling six-week training session with coach Bob Bowman, the “flying fish” looks to be on course. In the preceding weeks, he’s been working tirelessly in the mountains of Colorado. The secluded, high-altitude training locale has given Phelps the chance to fine-tune his strokes and technique without any distractions. After two second-place finishes at the 2012 Charlotte Grand Prix, Phelps admitted that he lacked focus and needed to improve his technique in preparation for London. The pre-Olympic training has Phelps in the best shape of his life, ready to defend his eight gold medals. After dominating the competition for more than a decade, it’s little surprise that he’s looking for a new challenge. Although still unsure of what he’ll do next, Phelps has stated that he’d like to play
youngest male swimmer to make a US Olympic team in 68 years. Since then, he’s reigned over the swimming world, winning countless international competitions with 16 Olympic medals and counting. Whatever results from the London Games, Phelps will go down in history as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, swimmers of all time.
the world’s top 100 golf courses, travel the world and most importantly, sleep in. Who can blame the guy after all the work he’s put into his life thus far. He’s given up a lot to reach this point of his career, and after these Games, it will surely be satisfying to reflect on what he’s accomplished in such a short period of time. He was 15 years old when he competed in the 2000 Sydney Games, where he became the
14-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps Courtesy USA Olympic Commitee
2012 Games aims for legacy over glitz
ondon’s dream of hosting the 30th Olympiad became reality in July 2005. Since that moment, the iconic city has become infused with both optimism and doubt. The long road to the opening ceremonies is nearing its end, and with the 2012 Summer Olympics just days away, London is poised to host the world. While the eyes of the world will be focused on London during the coming weeks, organizers have made a conscious choice to priori-
tize the Games’ legacy rather than attempt to match Beijing’s 2008 wow factor. Since construction began on the Olympic Park in London’s East End– a segment of the city that was heavily bombed in World War II– the area has been treated to a massive facelift. A major objective of London 2012 is to leave behind venues and usable infrastructure that will serve the London community for generations. Following the Games, the Olympic Park will become a mas-
sive, urban park with newly planted trees, canals and wetland habitats. The public transport networks have undergone vast improvements and the Olympic and Paralympic Village will be converted into new housing with more than 1,300 affordable homes. A chief motive for most cities to secure Olympic Games is the subsequent investment in decaying infrastructure. The result for London is a renewed urban landscape and a regeneration of some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. The newly
redeveloped East London will now be a showcase to the world and an aspiring example of the benefit of hosting an Olympic Games. As with any Olympic city, London has faced its share of criticism, but in the days and weeks to come, the historic location will have its chance to prove the doubters wrong and put on a show to dazzle the world. Britain’s capital defeated Singapore, Moscow, New York City, Madrid and Paris to be awarded its unprecedented third Olympic Games.
B-18 Signal Tribune
WHO TO WATCH Men’s Basketball
ABOVE: (from left) LeBron James, Kobe Bryant.
Basketball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, and the event is projected to steal the show in London. The sport has grown very competitive on the international scene, and although countries such as Italy, Spain and Argentina have greatly improved their basketball programs, it will be a shock if Team USA doesn’t bring home the coveted gold. NBA players were first invited to compete in the Olympics in 1992, and since then, Team USA has always compiled an all-star team to compete against the world. The Americans have won gold in four of the last five Olympics, and this year’s squad could be better than the famous 1992 “Dream Team.” This team will be packed with top-flight stars such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul. Although the epic group of players will be forced to deal the media hype and pressure that comes with being part of a star-studded roster, these guys are used to the pressure. The key for head coach Mike Krzyzewski will be to create a game plan that involves all of his players and to keep them focused on their goal of winning the tournament. Everyone knows this team is going to score points, but the lurking question is, will they be able to stop others from doing the same? Playing defense will be a key factor in the team’s success; if it can’t control the defensive side of the floor, other teams will make the US pay. The problem with being heavy favorites is that every other team is gunning for you every minute of the game. Spain will provide the toughest test for Team USA, even with the absence of its star point guard, Ricky Rubio. The Spanish won silver in Beijing, and they’ll be right in the mix again in London. The Spanish have a balanced lineup with NBA players throughout. With the brother combo of Marc and Pau Gasol, point guard Jose Calderon, playmaker Rudy Fernandez and defensive stronghold Serge Ibaka, Spain will be a tough out. Argentina, Italy and France could also give Team USA a run. Each team has a roster full of professional stars, and they have the firepower to knock off Team USA in a one-game, winner-take-all situation.
July 20, 2012
Photos courtesy USA Olympic Committee
ABOVE: (clockwise from top left) Todd Rogers, Misty
May-Treanor, Phil Dalhauser, April Ross, Jennifer Kessy, Kerri Walsh.
Beach volleyball traces its roots back to the sun-soaked beaches of Santa Monica, Calif., in the 1920s, when the sport came of age in America. Since its inception as an Olympic sport in the 1996 Atlanta Games, the sport has skyrocketed in popularity around the world, and it promises to be a crowd favorite in London. Team USA’s men and women both won gold in Beijing, and they’re again favored to take the top spot in London. Phil Dalhausser and teammate Todd Rogers have enjoyed the title of “Olympic gold medalists” over the past four years, but they both understand the difficulty of repeating that feat. Gold in London is anything but a guarantee for the dominant duo. Rogers has been rehabbing from surgery after badly tearing his meniscus last August. He and Dalhausser are ready for the challenge ahead and enter the tournament ranked second in the world behind Brazil’s Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti. Meanwhile, on the women’s side, Misty MayTreanor and Kerri Walsh will be chasing history as they vie for a third consecutive Olympic gold medal. After two straight gold medals and 112 straight match victories, the pair took a break from the sport to start families. Now the 30-something mothers are back and ready to take on the world as they try to solidify their place in beach volleyball history. As great a story as that would be, they’ll be facing strong challenges from Brazil and China, not to mention their fellow Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross. Kessy and Ross will be making their Olympic debuts, and the new kids on the block have the talent to steal the show. They just missed out on qualifying for Beijing but have been making big waves on the international scene in the four years since.
Women’s Basketball ABOVE: (from left) Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird.
Team USA doesn’t mess around when it comes to Olympic basketball, as the women’s team will be taking aim at its fifth consecutive gold medal. The group competing in London will settle for nothing less than the best, and the competition should beware, because these girls are the real deal. The team is led by a trio of two-time Olympic gold medalists in Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings and Diana Taurasi– rounding out what may be the best women’s basketball team ever assembled for an Olympic Games. Along with her two Olympic gold medals, Tourasi has won three NCAA titles (as a member of the Connecticut Huskies) and two WNBA titles with the Phoenix Mercury. Taking the court as a point guard and shooting guard, she’s considered one of the greatest women’s basketball players of all time. Bird is a name synonymous with women’s basketball. She’s a star point guard for the Seattle Storm and a large contributor to the success of women’s basketball. The seven-time WNBA all-star was selected first overall in the 2002 WNBA draft and will be a key piece to the women’s team in London. An interesting note is the fact that Bird will be squaring off against her Storm teammate and close friend, Lauren Jackson, who’ll be suiting up for the Australian team in London. Bird is looking forward to facing her and says she’s glad they play different positions so they won’t have to be head-to-head all game. Catchings will be ready for her third Olympics after suffering a torn plantar fascia during the second game of the WNBA playoffs. The team will have ample firepower to cover all parts of the court and should give its opponents fits throughout the tournament. Projected as heavy gold medal favorites, the women are taking nothing for granted and expect to face stiff competition from the rest of the world.
July 20, 2012
AQUATICS CENTRE / WATER POLO ARENA
Serena Williams, Venus Williams.
he Aquatics Centre is one of the newly built venues that will contribute to the modern esthetic appeal of London’s Olympic experience. The building is the first site visitors will see when entering the Olympic Park and has received much acclaim for its distinctive curved roof design that resembles a rolling wave. The centre will host diving, swimming and water polo.
LEFT: (clockwise from top left) Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps, Natalie Caughlin, Swimming was one of the most exciting events at the 2008 Beijing Games as 21 world records were broken, including Michael Phelps setting the world record for the most medals won at a single Olympics. The swimming competition in London promises to bring the same level of excitement as many athletes will be returning to defend their records. The US swim team will be composed of the country’s most decorated Olympic athletes, with Phelps (16 medals) and Natalie Coughlin (11 medals), along with budding superstar Missy Franklin. Phelps, needing just three medals to become the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, has made it clear that this will be his last Olympics. He’s by far the most dominating swimmer the sport has ever seen, and you can bet he’ll make an impact in every race in which he competes. However, Phelps will face stiff competition from countryman Ryan Lochte. Lochte won two gold and two bronze medals in Beijing and will be looking to take some of the spotlight away from his superstar teammate. At the 2011 world championships, Lochte dominated the competition, winning five gold and one bronze. He’s enjoyed a steady rise to the top of the swimming world, and these games will provide the perfect venue to showcase his ability to the world. On the women’s side, Coughlin comes to London as an Olympic veteran poised for the podium. She’s an 11-time Olympic medalist and has a chance to finish these games as the most decorated American woman in Olympic history. The youth movement is led by Franklin, 17, who will be donning her first Olympic swim cap in London. Franklin is another athlete who could become a household name following these games. She’s expected to compete in seven disciplines and is a front-runner for gold in each one. Many consider Franklin to be the next Phelps. Despite her young age, Franklin has won countless world events and has already earned a catchy nickname: “Missy the Missile.”
lso located in Olympic Park is the freshly built basketball arena that will house handball, basketball, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby. Although this is a new venue for the Games, it’s only temporary and will be dismantled following the Paralympic Games. The arena is one of the largest temporary venues in Olympic history, and its dismantled parts will be reused elsewhere in the UK.
LEFT: (clockwise from top left) Andy Roddick, Tennis events will have special meaning at the London Games as athletes will have the pleasure of competing on some of the world’s most prestigious courts. Wimbledon is the pinnacle of tennis, and it just so happens that America’s tennis darlings, Venus and Serena Williams, have dominated London’s grass surfaces for more than a decade. The London Games are another opportunity for the Williams sisters to etch their names in the tennis history books while playing for their country. The Williams sisters have won nine of the 11 Wimbledon championships since 2000– Venus five and Serena four. Venus also won gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Although both sisters have battled injury throughout the past few years– greatly limiting their time on the professional tour– they’ve been training hard for the London Games. Venus will be competing in her fourth and very likely last Olympics. At the 2011 U.S. Open, she revealed she was struggling with Sjorgen’s Syndrome, and has since made it clear that she intends to compete for gold in London. Serena will be aiming for her first Olympic singles gold. Although she has won two doubles gold medals (while partnered with Venus), she very much wants her own gold medal to complete the trophy case. On the men’s side, the US will be well represented by John Isner and Andy Roddick. Isner will be the highest-ranked American tennis player in London and has the tools to bring home a medal. Roddick will be looking to regain the form that saw him reach world No. 1 status in 2003. He’s had success at Wimbledon in the past, reaching the final on three occasions. They’ll be up against some stiff competition as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will be tough hurdles to overcome.
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July 20, 2012
Olympic pin collecting all the rage Neena Strichart Publisher
Pin trading is a rather fashionable pastime for many folks. For those who don’t understand pin trading, it is the act of buying, selling, and swapping collectible pins. Most of those revered are lapel pins associated with common subject matter such as particular theme parks or sporting teams/events. Pin trading during the 1984 Summer Olympic Games was my first experience with the popular hobby. Although I only bought one or two, my husband Steve (who I did not know at the time), purchased or was given quite a few. He had a grouping of them framed, along with a pennant emblazoned with the words “Games of the XXIIIrd Olympiad Los Angeles 1984.” I think his favorites are the two depicting the Long Beach Police Department’s badge with the 1984 Olympic mascot Sam, a colorful illustration of an eagle sporting a red,
white and blue top hat with the Olympic rings above the brim. Others Steve has collected over the years include small, medium and large pins from other Olympic Games venues such as Atlanta, Georgia; Sydney, Australia; and his newest, a London 2012 Olympic pin featuring a greyhound. Whether one chooses to during the participate Olympics in person or in spirit, by competing, attending, watching it on television or just pin-collecting, the Olympics is truly an international phenomenon to be embraced.
A collection of Olympic Games pins
Pennant from the Games of the XXIIIrd Olympiad Los Angeles 1984
London 2012 Olympic pin featuring a greyhound
American Gymnastics Academy trains Olympic hopefuls and teaches kids how to succeed in life Nick Diamantides Staff Writer
Every four years, hundreds of millions of television viewers all over the globe sit in rapt attention as they watch the world’s best athletes compete in the Olympics. But not everyone realizes that those athletes had to spend about 40 hours per week in rigorous training for several years before even qualifying to enter Olympic competition. Athletic training centers exist throughout the world to help prepare Olympic hopefuls for their ultimate challenge. One of those centers is the American Gymnastics Academy (AGA) right here in Signal Hill. “We started in Signal Hill in 1985, moved to Long Beach for a few years and came back to Signal Hill in 2008,” said Shane McIntyre, who owns and operates the academy with his wife, Carol. He explained that the number of boys and girls enrolled in the academy fluctuates between 800 and 1,000 students per week, and their ages range from 1 to 18 years old. Shane, Carol and 20 other instructors, most of whom are former AGA students, teach the youngsters how to safely execute a wide range of manuevers. McIntyre explained that only a very small percentage of AGA students have Olympic competition as a goal. So far, no AGA students have partici-
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pated in Olympic games, but several of them have achieved “elite athlete” status. “Elite athletes” are those who have demonstrated, by their performance in various competitions, that they have the potential to become Olympians or professional athletes. “Over the past 25 years, we’ve had 27 NCAA fullride scholarships. We’ve had three kids qualify for Elite, and we’ve had two national team members on the Junior Olympic level,” he said. He added that three of his students have won Junior Olympics silver medals in all-around national competitions, which include vault bars, uneven parallel bars, balancing, and floor exercises. McIntyre explained that, generally speaking, kids do not enroll in AGA with the goal of entering national or international competitions. “That’s something some of them decide along the way,” he said. “They get hooked into the excitement of the sport; they really like the skills they learn and the thrills of flying and everything like that, and the adrenaline they get from it.” McIntyre added that intense enjoyment of the sport is usually followed by a desire to compete with other gymnasts. “They start watching competitions that we have, or competitions on TV, and then they want to start competing too,” he said. Elaborating further, McIntyre noted
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that many AGA students do not want to participate in competitions. “We offer two programs: a recreational program for kids that just want to learn gymnastics for the fun of it, and the competitive program for the kids that want to be on our team,” he said, adding that kids in the recreational program come to AGA for a one-hour session once or twice per week, while kids on the AGA team spend 20 to 25 hours per week training at the academy. The AGA team is all girls (about 100). They compete against other private clubs in Southern California and across the nation. Sometimes the girls compete against teams from other nations at invitationals sponsored by other clubs. “If we have a child who is moving on to the Olympic level, they need to train 35 to 38 hours per week,” McIntyre said. “It’s a full-time job.” He explained that AGA works with the schools and parents of those kids to develop schedules enabling them to train. “They might have sessions before and after school, and all day Saturday,” he said. “And a lot of times with the high schools, the students are exempted from physical-education classes, which means they can start their school day a little later or get dismissed a little earlier in order to come here for training.” McIntyre noted that the overwhelming majority of AGA students
do very well scholastically, getting high grades in school. “In our philosophy, gymnastics needs to be in the top three,” he said. “Family comes first, then education, then gymnastics. We want to raise healthy kids who are good citizens; we are not here just for those one or two kids that will rise to the Olympic level.” He added that rising to the Olympic level requires natural physical ability, a very supportive family, hard work, dedication and sacrifice. “Aside from all the workout time, they have to travel to Texas once a month for a three-to-five day training camp,” he said, explaining that students who do that must also make up for missed school days. According to McIntyre, children involved in gymnastic training acquire a discipline that enables them to succeed in other areas of life. “Even the elementary school kids that train here learn that they must go home from school, get something to eat and do their homework before coming here to practice gymnastics,” he said. “That teaches them time management and the concept that they have to work before they can play. This sport is not about instant gratification.” McIntyre also addressed a concern that some parents have– the notion that gymnastics can warp the bones of children. “There is no sound data that
shows that gymnastics causes damage to a child’s skeletal system,” he insisted, explaining that problems caused by previous injuries or genetic defects are often blamed on gymnastic training at an early age. McIntyre noted that his wife started learning gymnastics when she was 3 years old, he started when he was 5 years old, and neither of them experienced ill effects due to the sport. In fact, later, both of them competed in college gymnastics. “Actually, gymnastics enhances the muscular and skeletal systems because we work both sides of our body,” he said. “For example, a baseball player will throw and hit from one side of his body, but a gymnast has to equally train both sides of his body.” He added that as a general rule, kids training for gymnastics have fewer bruises and sprained muscles than kids training in other competitive sports. McIntyre said he and his wife share a love of gymnastics and get a strong sense of fulfillment by teaching the sport to children.”We start them when they can walk and take them all the way to college or Olympic-level competition,” he said. “We enjoy watching them grow up, and we consider them part of our extended family. It’s a great pleasure to see them flourish not only as gymnasts but as human beings.”
July 20, 2012
Olympic venues: combining modern allure with nostalgic charm As London prepares to host the world for an unprecedented third Olympic Games, the city is eagerly waiting to show off its alluring array of newly built venues and stadiums. The eyes of the world will be focused on London in the coming weeks, and audiences will be dazzled by the integratio of historic sites with state of the art settings.
Photos courtesy London Olympics
he signature venue of the London 2012 Games is Olympic Stadium, home to the opening and closing ceremonies as well as all track and field events. The centerpiece of Olympic Park cost more than $760 million to construct and has been ready for service since April 2011. Interestingly, of the 80,000 seats that are available for the Games, just 25,000 are permanent. The stadium’s upper tier was build with temporary lightweight steel that enables the removal of 55,000 seats. London’s Olympic Stadium is being touted for its sustainability and use of recycled products. The structure was built with a low-carbon concrete that was produced from industrial waste, and the stadium’s upper ring is made of surplus gas pipes. Moreover, the need for steel and concrete was greatly reduced with the lower tier sitting within a bowl dug in the ground. The stadium was built on an island formerly used for industrial purposes. There are five bridges to link spectators to the surrounding Olympic Park.
HORSE GUARDS PARADE, WIMBLEDON & WEMBLEY STADIUM
he Velodrome has utilized a number of innovative techniques that make it the most sustainable building in Olympic Park. Innovative design choices include a 100-percent natural ventilation system that will maintain favorable track-level temperatures and eliminate the need for air conditioning. The building makes optimal use of natural light, reducing lighting costs considerably, and the low roof not only makes for a fantastic atmosphere for spectators but also reduces heating and ventilation needs. The Velodrome is a permanent venue that will host all track cycling and BMX events.
lthough there are a number of freshly built venues, London 2012 is also making optimal use of its historic locales and previously existing stadiums. The Horse Guards Parade– situated in the UK’s political center, just minutes from Buckingham Palace– will host beach volleyball events. While the venue is new, the Parade dates from 1745 and is at the heart of London’s ceremonial life. Meanwhile, Wimbledon’s All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club will be the host venue for the tennis tournament. The all-natural grass surface is a favorite of both Venus and Serena Williams, who’ve won a combined nine tournaments there since 2000. Historic Wembley Stadium is the biggest of the six stadiums that will house soccer matches, and it will host both the men’s and women’s gold medal games. Interestingly, Wembley was used as the primary venue the last time London hosted the Olympics, in 1948. The world-class stadium was built in 1934, and its original purpose was to be a swimming pool.
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Signal Tribune Olympics Special Section July 20, 2012